Tutorial Thursday #16 - Sport im Alter

Doing sport in your older years

Sport in old age? We say: absolutely!

The body is very adaptable, even in old age. Regular workouts can help the organism maintain its performance and even improve it.

The average life expectancy in Germany is constantly and drastically increasing since the middle of the past century. The demographic change is a big topic of discussion between scientists and politicians alike.

What most people don’t seem to realize as they grow older: what you use will remain intact. What you don’t use will degenerate. Thus, sport is definitely an important part of growing older!

Picture source: Mayr, K., Benzer, W., Sport im Alter, In: Kompendium der Sportmedizin (2004)

The natural degenerative muscle wasting can be slowed down or possibly even stopped. Joints will remain flexible and the range of movement can be retained – a basic prerequisite for an active and mobile life. The cardiovascular system stays active and in a healthier state, reducing the risk of diseases.

And sport will impact your bones. In a good way! Bone cells need, aside from natural nutrients, pull and push movements to regulate composition and decomposition processes and structure themselves.

Additionally, activity stimulates the cognitive performance – especially when it comes to outdoor activities.

So why not go for a walk? This will probably easily fulfill the bare minimum of movement for one day. If you feel like it you can also go on a hike, go for a moderate run or do reasonable strength training (e.g. with a sling trainer). No matter what you do, it is important to stay active!

Sportive greetings,

Your Fabien

Source: Lüschen, G., Abu-Omar, K., v.d. Knesebeck, O., Sport und körperliche Aktivität im Alter: sozialstruktureller Kontext und die Beziehung zur Gesundheit, In: Soz.- und Präventivmed. 46 (2001) 41-48
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